Voodoo doesn’t really come up often in video games, or, at least not in 99% of the games I come into contact with anyway. I can’t even remember the last time I played a game that was so heavily based on it since I owned Voodoo Vince on the original Xbox. Full Mojo Rampage is a very different game than VV is in almost every regard other than the voodoo dolls, so to compare them in any meaningful way would be foolish. So I won’t. I know you want me to, but I will not fall prey to your begging.
Full Mojo Rampage is a rogue-like twin-stick shooter game that takes the traditional build up your character stats until you win or die and do it all over again in randomly generated levels formula and puts the voodoo charm all over it. There’s a small bit of story to the game, but it’s not really the focus or even a decent piece of the puzzle that will keep you coming back for more. Here’s a rundown:
You are a voodoo apprentice hungry for knowledge and ready to perform deeds for the voodoo gods known as “Loa”. Through helping them you will gain their favor and trust. Your first quest requires you to help the mighty Baron Samedi. Samedi is known for his love of women, good tobacco and for drinking more rum than anyone. Last night he got too drunk and turned a safe ritual into a mess. Hordes of enemies are entering the world and he needs your help to clean up for him.
And from there it takes off to similar quests for others, which include weird dreams and more services being offered to other gods. As I said, the focal point really isn’t in the stories but the gameplay and all the secrets, items, and modes you play in. That’s what you’ll be coming back for over and over again.
There’s a lot to dive into here. You’ve got your normal single player quest campaigns, survival modes, local co-op (though try to play with someone competent because they leech your health bar), online co-op, and competitive multiplayer modes (deathmatch, capture the flag, etc.), some of up to 8 people. On top of all that, the experience is a very deep one. There’s a ton of items and unlockables to collect and multiple categories to obtain new abilities and upgrades over time while leveling up your stats and plenty of secrets to seek out in the levels themselves. Your play style also changes depending on which voodoo god you decide to partner with because they give you access to a specific set of spells and abilities to enhance your character.
The levels all vary depending on what quest you’re on but as examples, one may task you with closing portals, one may ask you to collect the butts of spiders, and one may challenge you to find the exit from a labyrinth. Along the way, you’ll find rooms fills with treasures, shops to buy items or weapons, and even voodoo gods to beg for help and power, or to just take a chance on a dare to see if you can continue while being nerfed. There’s plenty to see and use to your advantage throughout the quests, and you’ll need to think on your feet when some choices for items or buffs come into play.
The opening cinematic has a really cute tone to it and catchy music bouncing around. That sticks throughout and the musical score is a mix between moody and upbeat whimsy. The sound effects are also audibly pleasing, though don’t expect any voice overs, because the game has none. Not that it needs it, of course.
Visually, the isometric view does a nice job for the kind of action at hand. The randomly generated levels pop with color, even when the colors are darker and muted. The overall graphic quality is nice for the style of game, too. Oddly enough, I thought the Xbox One version looked a little better in the graphics department than the PlayStation 4 version, though that’s no saying that one looks bad. They both perform well in the visuals landscape. Particle effects pop off without issue and explosions look nice.
Controlling the game is just as you’d expect with a twin-stick shooter. It can take some getting use to pointing certain spells in a direction, but a little practice and you’ll be fine. There wasn’t much slowdown at all, even with a lot happening on the screen in regards to enemies and weaponry, and the menus aren’t that tough to navigate, even in the heat of battle. Overall it’s a solid job.
The one area I was sadly disappointed in was the online play. In so much as I couldn’t find a game on either PS4 or XB1, even with setting up sessions on various outside websites. It’s a damn shame because I would have loved to try this out in co-op and in competitive modes. I don’t know if it’s because no one wants to play it online, the online has issues in general (nothing I have heard or seen anywhere shows evidence of this), or it just hasn’t sold well on consoles. This is the main reason my review is so late, but I couldn’t hold it out much longer. It’s not fair to all involved. And even though I haven’t had the pleasure of duking it out online with others, I’m confident my review score will either stay the same or grow once eventually do. If it changes, I’ll update here accordingly as always. If you’re reading this, and you have decided to pick up the game after doing more research, don’t be shy, send me a game invite!!
As far as the Achievements and Trophies go, PS4 players will be happy to see a Platinum available. There’s a nice mix of completion vs. skill, and a decent amount to unlock, just over 25 I believe, though some will require online play. Which is a bummer as mentioned above. Remember, don’t be shy!! And a shoutout to the devs on how they came up with the names of some of the mojos in the game. Nice touch.
Full Mojo Rampage was a bit of a shock to me. I was not expecting to enjoy this game as much as I did. It scratched – and still is – an itch I didn’t really know I had. I can’t explain what that itch is, but I can say that I’m not upset it’s still doing it. Over the Top Games really hit a home run. This game is just plain fun and with the sprinkles of humor here and there it shows a silly side that is appreciated in these kinds of experiences. Fans of these genres will have no problem finding a good time, I have no doubt. Pick it up, and don’t forget to invite me!! Oh, and if you see or talk to any of my friends in real life, tell them they suck for not getting this game to play with me. Also, let them know I won’t be returning their DMX cassettes from high school. I’m too embarrassed to bring it up.